In the recent snow storms, the scope of the declaration involved a travel warning, enforceable by law enforcement, to keep non-essential personnel from traveling on the roadways. During a blizzard, highway workers and police spend most of their time pulling people from ditches and snow drifts, preventing them from clearing the roadways. The declaration keeps traffic off the road and allows the county to get back to normal as soon as possible. The commissioners, again while consulting with the same leaders that originated the emergency, decide to lift the restrictions as soon as safely possible.
Being that Elkhart County encompasses more than 400 square miles, some areas may not be affected by a crisis, while other areas are seriously impacted. In the future, an emergency declaration may focus on narrow geographical areas, excluding the municipal areas, if applicable, and reduce the impact to businesses and travel of those not affected by the crisis.
Ask-the-Sheriff a question by emailing Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers at brogers@elkhartcountysheriff.